Greece

Moving to Greece?

Connect with fellow expats in Greece
Join exciting events and groups
Get information in our Greece guides
Exchange tips about expat life in Greece

Residence Permits for Greece

Will you be moving to Greece as an expat soon? With its rich cultural history, friendly, hospitable locals, and more than 3,000 hours of sunshine per year, this country has a lot to offer! You should, however, take the economic climate into account, which makes it hard for regular employees to find jobs. Read the InterNations Expat Guide for information on your move to Greece, including entry visas, residence permits, and more.
Don’t forget to get your residence permit once you arrive in Greece.

Residence Permits for Employment Purposes

EU citizens moving to Greece for employment purposes must apply for a residence permit upon arrival. This is a relatively simple procedure. For non-EU citizens, the process is a bit more involved. Different residence permits are issued depending on if one is classed as an “executive” or “regular staff”.

Residence permits for executives are usually issued within one month of filing, and applications can be submitted upon arrival in Greece. Those for regular staff take considerably longer, and the process should be started well in advance of moving to Greece, even before applying for an entry visa. The need for the applicant’s specific specialization must be approved by the competent Greek authorities.

Those in possession of executive residence permits may bring their families with them. Those holding regular staff residence permits must wait two years before their families can follow them to Greece.

Applying for a Residence Permit

The following documents are necessary to obtain a residence permit at the Ministry of Interior after moving to Greece:

  • two completed application forms (to be obtained at the Ministry of Interior office)
  • original passport and a copy of each page
  • three biometric passport photos
  • health certificate filled out by a Greek hospital
  • proof of health insurance
  • proof of sufficient funds to finance your stay
  • employment contract (if applicable)
  • proof of local accommodation (e.g. rental contract)
  • proof of payment of EUR150 application fee to national tax office (Eforia)

The medical examination includes a chest x-ray and a test for tuberculosis. The test results can be picked up two days after the examination. The examination should be completed as soon as possible after you arrive in Greece.

Residence permits for employment purposes are initially issued for one year. They must be renewed within two months of expiration. The renewed residence permit must be prolonged every two years. For more information on the difference between “executive” and “regular staff” residence permits, please consult the How to Work and Live in Greece brochure, published by the Greek government’s Invest in Greece Agency.

Residence Permits for Investors and Entrepreneurs

Those seeking to obtain a residence permit for Greece as an investor or entrepreneur need to complete a similar procedure to the one outlined above. Investors are issued a residence permit for the development of investment activity. Applicants in this case agree to invest at least 300,000 EUR in activities that will benefit the Greek economy. Entrepreneurs should apply for a residence permit for practicing independent economic activity. In this case, you must prove that you have at least 60,000 EUR at your disposal.

For both types of permits, residence permits will also be issued to family members (spouse and minor children). The permit is valid for two years and can then be prolonged every two years, provided the economic activity continues and all taxes have been paid.

As of early 2014, the Greek government has also started offering five-year residence permits to third-country nationals and their families who buy property valued at a minimum of 250,000 EUR. These residence permits can be renewed as long as the property remains in the permit holder’s possession.

 

We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete. 

Rajat Bhatnagar

"It is really good to speak and hear Hindi from time to time. With InterNations I got to know compatriots in Athens and Thessaloniki."

Amelie Barreau

"InterNations members are really helpful and provided us with valuable tips about the international schools in Athens."

Global Expat Guide